It was a day that I knew would come sooner or later. When he was a young adult, I had given BJ his birth mother’s first and last name, first names of his sisters and where he was born. It was enough for him to find his birth sisters via Facebook. His sisters gave him phone numbers. He called and talked to his grandmother first, then set up a date and time to talk with his birth mom. His mom felt so blessed that she was finally able to talk with him and know that he alive and loved.
He found out that his birth family had been looking for him a long time. They had heard of some adoption abuse cases and began to wonder if BJ had been adopted to that kind of home. He assured them that this was not the case. He had a good life, good family and was showered with love.
A year later we began to plan for a meeting of the two families. Since I lived a little over two hours away from his birth family, BJ would fly from CA to OK and we would drive together to Texas. His wife and son could not make this trip. My partner, BJ and I would travel to Ft. Worth together.
When I talked to the grandmother about coming to visit, we had anticipated a small gathering: the grandmother, birth mother and her other children. The grandmother got excited about the visit, and invited her sisters, close friends, other relatives, etc. With PTSD, BJ was not comfortable in large groups. The three of us were excited and apprehensive about the little gathering that had now become a larger gathering.
I was not sure what kind of reception my white partner and I might receive from this black crowd. I know that transracial adoption was and is controversial. There was no way to know if this black family would feel resentful or angry towards us.
When we arrived at the grandmother’s house, we were greeted warmly and graciously with hugs. There were relatives of all ages who had come to see the returning “baby who was now a man.”
The grandmother and I had agreed ahead of time that an hour and a half would be long enough for our first visit. Thirty minutes into the visit, his birth mother had not yet arrived. The grandmother called her daughter and with my limited hearing, I could tell that she was not happy. Evidently, the mother was having second thoughts and was afraid for whatever reasons.
Another 15-20 minutes passed, and suddenly his birth mother burst into the apartment. She looked anxiously around and then rushed to BJ. I have never witnessed such an intense hug and display of motherly emotion. She appeared to be grateful, relieved, sorrowful and joyful, all rolled into one. I was overcome with tears as it was a sight to see. I imagine that every adoptive mother would want their child to welcomed by his/her birth mother as mine was.
I was extremely grateful that BJ had experienced such a warm welcome and I am sure it helped him to resolve some questions. The worry I carried over the years, about what kind of reception he would receive from his birth family, melted away.
I had prepared two photo booklets for the grandmother and mother. I tried to show a timeline of his life: his grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, major vacation trips, his hobbies, accomplishments, etc. I think they were assured that he was well taken care of, had lots of opportunities, and obviously loved by our family.
His birth mother texted me several times to restate the blessing she received from our contact and visit with them.
Its another family story that is downright personal.